ITSM software can make or break an IT Service. But what makes one piece of software better than another? In a market flooded with options, these are four features (broadly speaking) to look out for.
Viable software vendor
When a company buys an ITSM product they are also investing in an ITSM vendor, a relationship that doesn’t end when the tool is implemented.
This is a long term partnership so you need a vendor that is reliable to contact, preferably in a period of expansion, and will stay in business for the foreseeable future to allow scope for future development and ongoing product support.
Before investing in an ITSM solution it is wise to consider if the vendor, as well as the product, will be a worthwhile investment.
Implementation can make or break an ITSM tool. Key to this is a strong implementation team providing ITSM integrations into the business, either through the vendor or their partners.
Enticing features in an IT Service Management product mean nothing without the implementation know-how to put it in place.
Ease of use
ITSM software that is easy to use empowers staff to utilise it effectively. This minimises the training time needed for users of the tool and lessens the frustration of staff during this time due to a swift and productive learning process.
Key to this is how easily the software can be embedded into existing processes. A tool that is easy to embed into operational processes quickens the uptake of staff as they adapt to a new way of working in tandem with the new tool.
Tools that are difficult to use and incorporate within existing processes decrease user morale and slow down productivity as users are bogged down in the learning phase, leaving staff unable to use the tool effectively for long periods.
This is a less straight-forward feature. The level of flexibility should suit a business’s requirements, as flexibility in tooling can be a blessing or a curse.
A highly flexible tool is adaptable and allows for a large amount of customisation but the cost is that it will usually be harder to use. On the other hand, a tool with less flexibility is often easier to use due to the lower level of customisation but will be less adaptable.
Similarly a more flexible tool, while it can provide a solid ROI if a range of functions are used, can often prove costly and time consuming to maintain.
When choosing an ITSM tool, the level of flexibility should be carefully considered to ensure you are getting the right level of flexibility for your company. A tool needed to perform a wide variety of functions will need more customisations, whereas if it is to be used for the a single process then the opposite applies.
With these four features covered you can be confident that your new ITSM tool will prove an asset to your company.
Software attached to a viable vendor gives you security going forward. Equally, the backing of a strong implementation team or partner allows the tool to be put in place swiftly while minimising internal churn.
An easy to use tool empowers users and speeds up the learning process. While an adequately flexible tool allows for sufficient customisation without making the tool needlessly complex.
With these features in place for your new ITSM tool, you can’t go far wrong.
Richard is the Lead Service Management Consultant for Thebes Group.
Richard has over 15 years’ experience in Service Management, is an ITIL Expert, and has helped drive many organisations in their efforts to implement and embed mature service management processes. This has comprised of numerous Incident, Request, Problem, Change, Configuration and Release Management processes, in a variety of environments.
His approach is always to look for pragmatic solutions, which provide clear benefit and help achieve valuable business goals.
Richard is also the chair of the BCS Configuration Management Specialist Group (CMSG), and a committee member of the BCS Service Management Specialist Group (SMSG).
Richard speaks publicly, at a number of industry events including BCS, itSMF and Gartner conferences, as well as a number of webcast and webinars.
Follow him on Twitter @Richard_Josey.